Leicester's Curve Theatre Showcases Projects from Young Arts Entrepreneurs Today
In August, Curve Theatre's groundbreaking arts-led social change scheme Young Arts Entrepreneurs (YAE) will celebrate the end of its second successful year.
Running over a total of three years, YAE works with twelve young people aged 16-25 each year, enabling them to launch their own social enterprise and provide opportunities and benefits for their communities.
As Leicester progresses in its bid to become UK City of Culture 2017, the scheme has a significant role to play in nurturing the region's upcoming talent. Curve is now looking at options to extend the project beyond the life of the original three-year funded programme, in order to create a template which could be rolled out across arts organisations nationally.
Today, 14 August, the YAEs will take over Curve for a day of workshops, performances and presentations, including a set from emerging singer-songwriter Mark Elliott and a live stream to spoken word poet, Jess Green, at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The event will also include a networking opportunity for local businesses to meet what could be the next generation of key arts industry players.
Tim Ford, Curve's Associate Director for Participation and Learning who co-ordinates the project, said:
'There is a phenomenal amount of creative talent in Leicester and the surrounding region, and we have once again been privileged to work with a group of fantastically gifted and committed young people. This year's YAEs have not only produced projects of outstanding artistic quality but also demonstrated maturity and dedication both in their approach to developing business skills and in ensuring that the work has been of real value to the communities involved. Supporting and developing new local artists is integral to the work we do at Curve, and as we move towards the final year of YAE, we are keen to extend the model, developing a legacy for the project which will continue to benefit Leicestershire's young artists and communities, whilst also creating opportunities for arts organisations across the country.'
The YAE participants are challenged and developed through intensive business skills training and a Mentors Scheme, which complement their arts projects to ensure they have a viable, high quality business model and product. They are supported by local companies through a 10-week programme covering practical business skills such as leadership and management, finance, press and marketing, problem solving and entrepreneurship.
Eleven projects have been enabled in 2012 - 2013, which again cover a variety of artforms including drama, poetry and spoken word, movement and dance and music. The YAEs have worked with diverse groups from the communities of Leicestershire, ranging from ex-offenders to disadvantaged young people and those with special educational needs. The project areas have been both original and inspirational, and include using the arts as a tool for improving confidence and self-esteem; developing specific skills in drama, dance and music; and exploring issues affecting individuals living on the outskirts of society.
The Young Arts Entrepreneurs' Showcase Day will take place at Curve today, 14 August, 9.30 a.m - 4.00 p.m. Media representatives are invited to attend the Showcase and lunch between 1.00 p.m and 3.00 p.m. There will also be opportunities to observe workshops if a particular project is of interest.